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In the University of Utah's study, researchers Donald S. Sustaíta, and Jordan Rullo surveyed 606 teenagers ages 14–18 and found that nearly 20 percent of the students said they had sent a sexually explicit image of themselves via cell phone, and nearly twice as many said that they had received a sexually explicit picture.Of those receiving such a picture, over 25 percent indicated that they had forwarded it to others.Sexting has been promoted further by several direct messaging applications that are available on smartphones.
Nevertheless, Australian laws currently view under-18s as being unable to give consent to sexting, even if they meet the legal age for sexual consent.
In 2013, it was found that sexting is often used to enhance the relationship and sexual satisfaction in a romantic partnership.
Sexting thus can be considered a "behaviour that ties into sexuality and the subsequent level of relationship satisfaction experienced by both partners".
In addition, of those who had sent a sexually explicit picture, over a third had done so despite believing that there could be serious legal and other consequences if they got caught.
Students who had sent a picture by cell phone were more likely than others to find the activity acceptable. note: "The news-worthiness of [the University of New Hampshire study] derives from [their] figure [2.5%] being far below (by a factor of 5 or more) the prevalence rates reported in the previous surveys.